The West End
The West End Lofts, a 119 unit, four-story loft building in Marina del Rey, CA, was already fully constructed when we were hired to develop the central courtyard. The owner/developer wanted the garden to be a strong identifying element to ground the architecture. To meet this need, we wanted the courtyard to function as a stylish and comfortable gathering place shared by multiple and eclectic residents and their guests.
A significant design challenge was to create an inviting courtyard space that opens out to all the units, on top of an existing parking garage. We achieved this by designing a lush garden with large, graphic, oversized pots and planters anchoring opposite ends of the courtyard space in conjunction with the two elevator banks.
We wanted to define the circulation of the space and draw residents into and through the garden by crafting walkways and adding a sense of drama. By adding five foot tall pots planted with grooves of water gum trees (Tristaniopsis laurina) that doubled as nighttime lighting, we achieved this key element of the overall garden design.
Four outdoor living rooms sit on elevated platforms amid ginkgos and bamboo. Bold bursts of color, including blue and yellow fountains on either end of the courtyards, act as jewels within the black and cream-colored palette. The outdoor furnishings are a mixture of Richard Schultz chairs with custom designed pottery and Bolon woven-vinyl flooring that vary depending on which outdoor room you enter.
The Kor Group